Impact of current cough on health-related quality of life in patients with COPD

Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2016 Sep 13:11:2091-2097. doi: 10.2147/COPD.S106883. eCollection 2016.


Background: Cough and sputum production are frequent in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between cough and sputum production and health-related quality of life in COPD.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in the French Initiatives COPD cohort and assessed cough and sputum production within the past 7 days using the cough and sputum assessment questionnaire (CASA-Q), health-related quality of life, spirometry, smoking status, dyspnea, exacerbations, anxiety and depression, and comorbidities.

Results: One hundred and seventy-eight stable COPD patients were included (age, 62 [56-69] years, 128 male, forced expiratory volume in 1 second [FEV1]: 57 [37-72] % predicted) (median [Q1-Q3]). In univariate analyses, health-related quality of life (Saint George's respiratory questionnaire total score) was associated with each CASA-Q domain and with chronic bronchitis, exacerbations, dyspnea, FEV1, depression, and anxiety. All four domains introduced separately were independently associated with health-related quality of life. When introduced together in multivariate analyses, only the cough impact domain remained independently associated with health-related quality of life (R2=0.60). With chronic bronchitis (standard definition) instead of the CASA-Q, the R2 was lower (R2=0.54).

Conclusion: This study provides evidence that current cough in the previous 7 days is an important determinant of health-related quality of life impairment in stable COPD patients.

Keywords: dyspnea; multivariate analysis; questionnaires; respiratory; signs and symptoms; sputum.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Comorbidity
  • Cough / diagnosis
  • Cough / etiology
  • Cough / physiopathology
  • Cough / psychology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Forced Expiratory Volume
  • France
  • Health Status
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / complications
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / psychology*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Risk Factors
  • Spirometry
  • Sputum
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors